Ford's profit rises on truck demand but EV outlook sends shares lower

Ford shares ended the Tuesday session down 2.2% before it dropped another 2% in extended trading

Ford Motor reported a profit in the last quarter, rebounding from a net loss in the same period a year ago.

Ford made $1.76 billion last quarter, swinging into the black from a $3.1 billion net loss from a year ago.

Most of the profit came from Ford Blue, the company's internal-combustion engine vehicle unit, which made $2.62 billion before taxes during the quarter.

However, Model e, which is the automaker's electric vehicle unit lost $722 million before taxes.

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Ford truck on display

People visit a Ford booth at the Auto Shanghai show, in Shanghai, China. (REUTERS/Aly Song / Reuters Photos)

Ford shares dropped 2% in extended trading after the earnings were announced.

The company reiterated its earlier pretax profit guidance for the full year of $9 billion to $11 billion.

Excluding one-time items, Ford made 44 cents per share – beating Wall Street estimates of 42 cents, according to FactSet.

Revenue rose 20% to $41.74 billion, soundly beating the $39.25 billion that analysts expected.

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Ford sign

A Ford sign is shown at a dealership in Springfield, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke / AP Newsroom)

"This quarter was much smoother," Chief Financial Officer John Lawler told reporters Tuesday. "We've done a lot of work on improving the rate and flow of semiconductors, production stability, working through potential other issues with the supply base outside of chips."

Ford's profits were fueled largely by sales in the U.S., its most lucrative market. Ford sold just under 472,000 vehicles from January through March, up 9.9% from the previous year.

The company continued to get strong prices for its vehicles during the quarter, driven by loaded out trucks and big SUVs. Ford’s average sale price was $56,534, according to Edmunds.

FORD FEBRUARY SALES SPIKE 21% ON STRONG TRUCK AND SUV PERFORMANCE

Mustang Mach E

Ford Mustang Mach-E is presented at the New York International Auto Show, in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., April 5, 2023.  (REUTERS/David Dee Delgado / Reuters Photos)

Earlier Tuesday, Ford cut prices on its Mustang Mach E electric SUV, the same day Tesla raised prices slightly on the Model Y, the Mach E's main competitor.

Ford says its first-generation electric vehicles will be profitable on a pretax basis by the end of 2024. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
F FORD MOTOR CO. 12.16 +0.05 +0.41%

The first-quarter loss last year was mainly due to a drop in valuation of Ford’s investment in electric vehicle startup Rivian, which saw its stock slide.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.